Transdermal Contraceptives

by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated February 27, 2009)

As you research prescription contraceptive options available to you, you may be faced with the decision between transdermal contraceptives and the pill. On the surface these two seem very similar but in fact, there are a variety of different benefits and side effects. Transdermal contraceptives or the contraceptive "patch" is a recent development that allows women the same benefits of the "pill" without the stress of having to remember to take a pill everyday. The patch releases synthetically made estrogen and progesterone to trick your body into thinking it's pregnant. Your body will not ovulate, and you will not have your period, until the patch is removed.

Ortho Evra is the only company, thus far, that manufactures these patches. The patches stay on for a week at a time (they can be worn in the shower, swimming pool etc.), for three weeks. It is placed on the back or on the lower stomach. The last week when you do not wear the patch your body is not being exposed to estrogen and progesterone so you have your period.

This transdermal patch is equally as effective as the pill but has a variety of different side effects. Side effects include: break through bleeding, blood clots, darkening of skin around patch, vomiting, headaches, abdominal pain, lower back pain, breast tenderness, and allergic reaction around site of adhesive. Recently there have been numerous lawsuits against the company for its hand in causing strokes and blood clots. If you are at risk because of health or family history, be sure to inform your physician. Beyond these side effects, always remember that contraceptives that just regulate hormones are not effective in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases.

Benefits include more regulated periods and anxiety free protection. If you have any more questions about this transdermal patch you can visit orthoevra.com or speak to your physician.

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